|One of my earliest, and strangely fondest, childhood memories is perusing German ‘fashion magazines’. Don’t think in terms of Vogue and Elle, these were actually the mail order catalogues of mid-market retail chains, such as Otto or Neckerman, with the occasional excitement of an actual IKEA catalogue. The decadent pieces were smuggled into the country by those having the sublime privilege of occasionally travelling abroad, and were then worn thin by being passed around and used by seamstresses to create a semblance of Western fashion in the drab land of Romania. I was particularly struck by all the strange knick-knacks, statuettes, gnomes, colourful pots and other varied receptacles, plastic flowers and the likes which seemed to be means for these strange, alien, ideal people, the Germans, to decorate their gardens and balconies. I am happy to inform you that some things never change. This time around there is also a unifying theme in the Nationalelf’s EURO participation, which, quietly but resolutely, is expected to go all the way, Jogi Löw’s pant antics notwithstanding.